Adding computers to your personal network allows you to share files, printers, and an Internet connection, among other things. A local area network (LAN) consists of two or more computers connected with cables in order to share files and other resources such as Internet access, USB ports, printers, etc. To use a LAN, the networked computers must be in the same physical location; they are usually in the same room or building and sometimes on the same floor or wing of an office building.
What Is A Local Area Network?
A local area network (LAN) is a private, low-bandwidth network that connects computers in one physical space. Common LAN technologies include Ethernet and WiFi. A key characteristic of a LAN is that it can only connect computers that are in relatively close proximity to each other—say, within 100 meters or so. This stands in contrast to wide area networks (WANs), which stretch across long distances and tend to be much faster and more expensive than LANs. LANs have been around since almost as long as modern computer systems themselves, and they’re still going strong. Here’s how they work.
Connecting Your Computers Together
Your computer’s network card can connect to other computers in your home or office so that you can share files and Internet access. This guide explains how to get started with your own local area network. It covers some background on networks, how different types of networks work, getting information onto your new network and into the hands of everyone who needs it, and trouble-shooting common problems.
Why Use A Local Area Network?
A network is any collection of machines that are connected to each other. There are many different kinds of networks, from home networks to LAN’s. A LAN (Local Area Network) allows computers and peripheral devices to communicate over wires, radio waves or infrared light signals in a very limited area. Typically, a LAN will connect several devices in one office building or school campus and may also extend through an entire small town or be contained within just one business.
Advantages of a LAN
A LAN helps all your computers to connect and communicate with each other at speeds much faster than the internet. This means that transferring files and accessing shared printers are much easier, in addition to everything else you’d do on a LAN, like playing multiplayer games or watching streaming video.
Disadvantages of a LAN
While there are many advantages to using a LAN, there are also some disadvantages. One of these is that you have to purchase each computer or device separately from another, meaning that if you want two computers in your office or home, then you will need to buy two separate devices. In addition, if any of your equipment fails and needs replacing then it will cost you more money than having just one main computer that all of your data and applications can be backed up onto.
Types Of Networks
An internetwork, or network, can be categorized in several ways. The most common categorization is by physical size: local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and metropolitan area network (MAN). These networks may also be categorized by connection type: wired or wireless. It may also be categorized by organizational scope: enterprise, campus, departmental, peer-to-peer, public/community and last mile/home.
Cable vs. Wireless Local Area Networks
So you’re trying to decide whether to go with a cable or wireless network for your LAN. There are pros and cons to each, so we’ll take an in-depth look at both before deciding which option is best for you. Cable networks use coaxial cables to transmit data from one PC to another across your local area. It has a maximum length of roughly 75 meters (250 feet), but can typically reach shorter distances as well if using repeaters to boost signal strength and provide extended range. In addition, standard CAT 5e cabling will support speeds up to 1 Gbps—more than enough bandwidth for most small office/home office LANs.